Round 2 / Auto World’s 1950 Olds Rocket 88 wears a set of license plates that say “ROCK IT”, and I agree, right from the car’s wide whitewalls to its 150-decibel red and white paint job. This latter-day mold set from the Ertl-nee-RC2 “Authentics” series (inherited by AW/R2) was a hit when it emerged a few years ago, and it still packs a punch.
You have to look closely to see some of the subtleties, here, and there are plenty of those. First off, this model was “inspired” by the car once owned by Sharon Osbourne – yes, that Sharon Osbourne – and if you get your squint on, you’ll see the changes that AW’s put into play since that original RC2 release, like the difference in the decos on the wheels and hub caps (more correct on this newer car), and the painted, rather than cast-in-color pieces that dot the Olds and add to the all-important perceived value.
The features menu hasn’t changed a bit. There are opening doors, hood, and trunk, all on “real” hinges, a working suspension and steering, and a prop shaft that spins with the rear wheels. The little badges everywhere, including the “88” on the trunk, the beautifully miniaturized “globe” Oldsmobile trims on both ends, and the sweet taillight bezels and brightwork everywhere is top shelf stuff.
The seat backs tilt (and split a little, on my sample, while doing so), and the visors and radio antenna are poseable. Inside, the red and white bench seats and dash (which is incorrectly painted) holler “Santa”, but the pieces themselves make the area a neat, if awfully bright, place to visit. And yes, kids, there’s an opening glove box.
There’s also a kicking engine. This is one of the better classic ‘fifties mills in this scale, and the 303.7 cid/135 horse V8 is completely smacked with wiring, paint, applied decos, and accessories. The trunk’s got a glossy mat and a fixed-in-place spare, and the chassis sports some great stuff – like a slick, multi-metallized exhaust, replete to the clamps, and the aforementioned spinning drive shaft.
These Chariot Red babies are running at a sub-seventy buck price point, and they’re still available at the Round 2 web site, among other places. In every color, and in just about every way, these Rockets rock.